Three Poems

Posted on March 16, 2009


By Colin Herd

i had long harboured fantasies of impotence;
but i wasn’t sure how to act on them.

there is always a risk of sabotage / a deep distrust
but it fits perfectly in my hand; if i need to
hold on to something i will hold on to that.

the best answer to power is suspicion, so if you
stand over me like that i will think dark thoughts.

the few occasions when i read you i read about characters;
there is nothing eccentric in the writing but it’s an INSECT.
we are parasites but don’t despise us – you can’t say fairer than that
for a work of literature; it can stand for anything you like; it’s delicately uncanny,

uncannily delicate and it’s fragility is frighteningly odd.
that was a description of love worthy of its place in
this poem, reproaching the sounds, marrying.

p.s. i realised i didn’t answer your question, what follows is my attempt

it’s difficult though because i’ve never been sure just how serious all of this is
i mean you spoke of substances, and poetry, and mothers…?

i can get my head around the first two, and the last two, but all three
are like a venn diagram that is stubbly and smells of beer.
when i first decided i wanted to be a poet
(it wasn’t long ago/ not as long as you’d think)
i thought, if only i can be a poet maybe i won’t need
mothers, and substances, and stances

but when i was shrieked at ‘you don’t want to be a
poet; you’re just too lazy to get on T.V.!!’ i thought
about it a lot because it was partly true and
partly true and partly true and partly true and partly true
but i like sonnets and so, it seems, do you.

cheerfulness breaks in as the whole room
suddenly breathes because Shelagh Delaney
(i pay attention- she’s one of my favourite writers)
is NOT an angry young man… the hollers and the
hoots; we could have been at a football match rather
than here. darling, what happens now that we’ve
dismantled it? should we put it together again?
or differently? or just play around as it is?
there may be other poems that end with a gardener’s van
smashing into an audi at the corner of a cul-de-sac, and
five teenagers running screaming for a bus. but are there
other ones with Shelagh Delaney in? ///
what was that noise?
Come and look at this!! Do you think they’re alright?


Colin Herd lives and works in Edinburgh. He writes both individually and as part of the New Scottish Language Poets collaborative project. He maintains a blog: here.

Posted in: Poetry